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Message from Angela…

angela chouaib essentials magazineRunning your own business is one of the greatest challenges you will ever face. I should know: I’ve been there, and what’s more I’m still here, leading Secret Surgery, as I have since its inception in 2010.

It’s been exhausting, it’s been rewarding and it’s been more fun than I could have ever imagined. Highlights, while too many to list, but include receiving our 100th positive patient testimonial from Carole, watching a few patients give birth to longed for children, and following the massive weightloss of some 40 stone within our support group since January 2013, lots of ladies publishing their success stories in glossy magazines, aswell as helping hundreds of men and women feel good about their bodies again.

That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing of course. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a sweet shop or a cosmetic surgery company: there are going to be pitfalls, setbacks and days when you just want to go back to bed and wake up in an alternate reality. One where None of This Stuff is Happening.

Financially, Secret Surgery is in better shape than ever, with record numbers of patients jetting off to our Polish clinic to experience surgery abroad. Judging by the positive testimonials that keep pouring in, we appear to be adhering to our mission statement and delivering on our promises. To invoke a well-worn saying however, you can’t please all the people all of the time.

Since January 2013, I have been subjected to a campaign of vicious harassment by a former patient. Disgruntled by her experience of cosmetic surgery that wasn’t even booked through my company, the patient proceeded to wage a one-woman war against me, going so far as to make up false allegations about Secret Surgery and to dupe sections of the tabloid press into publicising her ‘story’. This matter has been addressed in a previous blog post so I won’t rehash the story here. Suffice to say the last few months have been a waking nightmare which I am confident the women in question will be delighted to hear.

Constant press intrusion, personal attacks and attempts to undermine Secret Surgery’s hard-earned reputation are just some of the flak that’s come my way daily. In particular, this woman’s vendetta has left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I am still in the early stages of recovering from thigh surgery and have been forced to wage a war on two fronts, trying to protect my business and safeguard my own health. As a consequence, I have decided to take a step back and focus on my own welfare for the time being as my personal health and happiness is much higher value. Once I have fully recuperated, I’ll be ready to lead Secret Surgery once again.

I’d like to thank all of Secret Surgery’s customers and associates for their ongoing support and messages at this time. Rest assured that in my absence, the company will continue moving forward, despite my decision to adopt a less visible presence. There are a number of exciting developments ahead for the company and I can’t wait to share them with you when the time is right. Please note that in spite of my hiatus, I will still be fulfilling all pre-arranged commitments including meetings and scheduled trips.

Finally, some good news has arrived this week amidst all the turmoil: I have verbal confirmation that the hospital’s insurance company has completed its Investigations. It pertains to the claim that was filed by the disgruntled woman whose harassment campaign caused this maelstrom. The independent panel’s findings have revealed that during the woman’s hospital stay, everything was conducted professionally, ethically and within normal parameters. The panel has cleared both the surgeon and the hospital of any form of malpractice, vindicating everything I have said about this spurious claim from the outset. In spite of these findings, I don’t expect the harassment to stop sadly – the woman in question has some serious personal issues, and it will take more than a legal letter to quell her campaign.

Throughout this ordeal, I have done my utmost to bite my tongue and refrain from speaking my mind. Trust me, when you’re facing an individual who is hell-bent on destroying your business, your family life and everything you’ve worked for, this isn’t easy. I am a businesswoman and a mother and I will fight to defend the things that I hold dear. This means taking an aggressive stance against any opportunists friends of said person who believe they can join her campaign or blackmail to extort me with the threat of going to the press to tell tall tales.

Should an individual ever have cause to file a genuine claim against Secret Surgery, the matter will be thoroughly investigated and the claimant will be treated with the utmost respect throughout the process. This situation has really identified a few money-grabbers, pathological liars and charlatans; none of which will be given the time of day.

While 2013 has been something of an annus horribilis, I will emerge from it stronger, wiser and better prepared for whatever life may care to throw at me.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this and for your continued support. It means everything!

Angela Signature


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